May 28, 2003
Hello dear brothers and sisters.
I hope you are experiencing the love of God in your heart and in your life.
May He comfort you and strengthen you. May your heart rejoice in
His victory in your life.
I want to tell you about the morning
of August 25, 1980. It has been the defining moment of my life.
It was the morning after I had given my life to Jesus Christ at the First
Baptist Church in Cave Junction, Oregon. Art Edwards, the pastor
of that church, met me at the door and invited me to come into his house
and I sat in his living room. Art was 62 years old with white hair,
a muscular physique, and a very gentle face. His whole being exuded
kindness and warmth.
Wasting no time with small talk,
I asked Art, "What do I do now?"
I had expected there would be some
kind of program or plan that I would be given to follow, but Artís response
completely disarmed me:
"Son, when you wake up in the morning,
thank God for the day Heís given you, and ask Him what He wants you to
do with it. Just wait for His answer, and when he gives it, just
As a hippie flower child, all I could
say was, "Wow!"
I donít think I said much of anything
else. I was feeling totally wonderful knowing that God loved me and
that all my sins were forgiven. There was way too much joy breaking
forth in my heart to try to talk. I would have just started babbling
and been embarrassed, so I just smiled and said, "Thank you." Art
said, "Youíre welcome." Thatís really all I remember. It made
so much sense, and I was relieved to know that God would tell me what to
do, since I had no clue whatever what I would be doing with the rest of
The next morning when I awoke in
our tent, I whispered to the Lord, "Thank you Lord for giving me this day.
What do You want me to do?" Almost immediately, I had the sense that
He wanted me to leave town. I told Jo I would be going back to Portland
to look for a job. She was very sweet and supportive and said sheíd
miss me. Having no car at this time in our life, I hitchhiked and
arrived in Portland some time around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I found
a friend and got a newspaper and started making calls from the want ads.
I went to a couple of restaurants. That was where I had the most
experience. I remember filling out the application. They wanted
the last four jobs, how long you worked, what you got paid, and the last
column said "Reason for Leaving." As a new babe in Christ, lying
would have been unthinkable, so in all four spaces in the last column I
I got up early the next morning and
picked up the Wednesday paper. I got a haircut and shaved off my
beard. I made a few calls and got on the bus to call on three more
restaurants and fill out applications. Again I felt compelled to
put the true reason my last four jobs had only lasted between a week and
four months. The first two said theyíd call me if they needed me.
The third one congratulated me for having a lot of chutzpah, only he used
a more graphic term. He was impressed that I was so honest and said
he didnít have any openings at the moment, but wanted me to know that if
he had one heíd hire me.
The couple I was staying with were
hippies. All I wanted to do was play my guitar and read the Bible.
And find a job. Thursday was a lot like Tuesday and Wednesday.
I filled out a few applications and no one offered me work. I could
have been frustrated, but I wasnít. I still had that new-found joy
of the Lord. When I woke up Friday morning I sensed that God wanted
me to go back to Cave Junction. I didnít understand why He would
sent me to Portland to look for a job and then send me back to Cave Junction
without one, but I headed back that morning.
During my trip home, I sensed the
Lord was telling me He was pleased that I had obeyed Him and that a wonderful
surprise awaited me. My last ride took me back to the campsite where
I was thronged by an exuberant group of children including my own.
Each adult that greeted me seemed like he or she had something exciting
to tell me but couldnít. My body language said, "Whatís going on?"
And theirs said, "Youíll see. Youíll see."
Finally I saw Jo. I was expecting
her to ask me if I had found a job. I was going to tell her I didnít,
and then maybe sheíd say, "Well, what are you doing here, then?"
It didnít happen like that, Iím happy to report. Jo came walking
toward me, and I walked toward her, and it seemed like the whole world
was watching as we hugged each other and she said, "I missed you."
And I said, "I missed you, too." Then, we hugged some more and she
said I looked nice with short hair and I said, "You look nice, too!"
I really donít remember how she told
me, but even before she told me, I knew. I could tell. After
a little while, Jo told me how the day before, she started missing me,
and it seemed like her whole world was falling apart. Our friend
Pat told her she was going to call Art, and Jo didnít want her to do that,
but she did anyway. When Art arrived, Jo had gone into the woods
to cry, and Art found her. He said, "Whatís the matter, Honey?"
When Art called you "Son" or "Honey" you always felt safe.
"I donít know," Jo answered.
"Iíve been crying all day, and I just canít stop."
"Thatís the Holy Spirit, Honey,"
Art said. "And Heís all over you."
Art shared with Jo from the Bible
about how God sent Jesus to die for our sins and how we could receive eternal
life by coming to Him. Jo told me that when she asked Jesus into
her heart she felt like she lost a hundred pounds. She told me how
she was hoping I wouldnít go forward at the church service on Sunday, and
that she wanted to grab me to stop me but she couldnít. Then she
told God, "If youíre so powerful, get David to stop using drugs."
I was totally set free from day one without any withdrawal or need for
The defining moment for me was that
I began to acknowledge Godís Lordship. I made it my daily practice
to talk to Him and listen to Him. I chose to believe that He actually
had a "wonderful plan for my life." I believe essential to Godís
wonderful plan for my life, my wifeís life, and your life is this:
He wants you to know Him, trust Him, and believe Him. He wants to
be involved in a love relationship with you. He wants you to be involved
in a love relationship with Him. If He could have anything He wanted,
He would have you. Have you told Him today how much you love Him?
It has been nearly twenty-three years
since that defining moment. There have been many difficult struggles.
I have gotten side-tracked and known discouragement, and even sunk into
pits of depression and despair. What I have learned is that when
I try to plan and run my own life it always leads to disappointment and
unhappiness. But I can always go back to square one and thank God
for the day Heís given me, and ask Him what He would have me do with it.
I am Your child/ My heart is longing
to be by Your side/ I am Your child/ You are the breath that keeps me alive
As I enter into Your presence/ All
my worries fall away/ As I enter into Your presence/ All my troubles fade
You are my Father/ And I am drawn
by Your love more and more/ You are my Father/ The One Who I worship and
You can listen to this song at www.mydaddylovesme.org
It is song #7 on Ď1949í
Can you remember how wonderful it
felt to know that God loved you and that your sins were all forgiven?
David asked God to restore the joy of His salvation (Psalm 51:12).
We do well to ask the same thing as needed, and never accept satanís lie
that God doesnít want you to be happy. He definitely wants you to be happy.
Itís not His plan that we wouldnít know sorrow or grief, because life is
full of hurts and disappointments. At least mine is. But, I
am able to follow Godís exhortation to rejoice always, because He loves
me. He really loves me. And as sure as my name is David (beloved)
and my wife is Jo (sweetheart), my Daddy loves you! Smile... :-)
If you need a word of encouragement
or prayer, Iím here to be your friend. Share this message freely
as God leads. Ask Him who needs to hear from you today, and reach
out with His love.